Farewell to Our Graduating Office Assistants

Lysa Fakir and Rayden Leeder
Wednesday, December 13, 2023
Lysa Fakir and Rayden Leeder have worked in the CoAA main office for two years.

As College of Arts + Architecture student office assistants, Lysa Fakir and Rayden Leeder have brought friendliness and professionalism to the CoA+A main office for the past two academic years. They are both graduating, and we will miss them!

Lysa is receiving a BFA in Art with a concentration in illustration and a Minor in Dance. Rayden is receiving a BA in Theatre with a concentration in directing, dramaturgy, and dramatic writing and a Musical Theatre Certificate.

Here are a few of their departing reflections.


How “Snot Girl” inspired her Senior BFA Thesis project:
Leslie Hung was the illustrator for the (comic book series) ‘Snot Girl.’ I was about 14 or 15, and I fell in love with the color and art style at the time. I bought all the hard copies and thought, ‘Hopefully that will be me some day.’

My BFA project was four works – comic book covers in three genres: action fantasy, and horror. (See the process below!) It’s been so fun to use things from my culture in this setting, showing how people of color can be at the forefront of comic book stories, and not just in the background.

artwork by Lysa Fakir

What she’s learned here:
I’ve learned a lot technique-wise, concept-wise in art and a lot about my identity, about myself and about the art world. It’s been a very humbling and amazing experience to be here.

Now what?
Probably graduate school. I hope to become an art educator, specifically, within the collegiate field. I want to be in a place where I can encourage students to chase their artistic dreams. Oftentimes, many students can become discouraged because of the myth of becoming a starving artist or seeing their degree as a waste; however, art is so much more impactful than I think the world realizes. That's why in the future, I want to educate people on the various opportunities that artists can achieve and push many students who face discouragement into becoming their best selves!

Parting words:
I’ll miss the community, the home that I’ve been a part of for so long.


Why UNC Charlotte?
I chose UNC Charlotte because I really loved the people here and the supportive community that is created here. Everyone from faculty to students is so incredibly kind and encouraging and made coming here an easy choice.

Top three experiences:
1. making all my amazing friends and getting to learn alongside them
2. getting to travel to places like New York, Virginia, or Southeastern Theatre Conference and getting to make connections and experience professional theatre
3. getting to work on really fun and amazing productions that led me to being nominated for Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival twice.

Not to mention her senior project, a production of the play “I & You”:
There were many hurdles in this process. I have assistant directed shows in the past, but have never taken on the role of director, so it was a job that required a lot of hard work and flexibility. I got to work on set design and manage the responsibilities of a stage manager on top of my job as director. I find the work very enjoyable, and look forward to the challenges that come with taking on such an important role. I deeply enjoy diving into the dramaturgy of the script and working with my actors to bring out the best performance they can give by helping them find motivation behind their words and actions.

scene from production of the play I & You

And of course, working in the CoAA office:
I enjoyed the people I got to work with and the experiences I gained learning what goes on in marketing and administration for theatre and the arts.

Now what?
I hope to work in production, working both as a director and as a dramaturg. My main goal is to help improve the inclusivity, diversity, and, accessibility of the theatre industry as a whole. I also want to put on performances that allow audiences to feel, start conversations, and change.

Good luck, Lysa and Rayden!